Sunday, January 29, 2012


Had our second annual Muttfest yesterday.  This is a gathering of local doggy ventures like dog walkers, people who make doggy stuff and trainers.  We have demos, speakers and booths and it is free to the public.  I have helped with the planning of it for the last couple of years and always look forward to the speakers and the demos.  This year was my first year at having a booth which kind of stressed me out because I also am in charge of moderating the speakers in another room.  I also am not very creative when it comes to booths so had no clue what to bring or what to have to draw people in.  In my last minute haste, I had found some St. Pat's stuff already out at Hobby lobby so bought some shamrocks and some garland that had shamrocks on it and a white table cloth.  Real creative right? Kind of goes with the emerald city theme.  Need to visit oz fest again this year and load up on some emerald city stuff I guess.  Anyway, stuck some professional pics of the dogs up on the wall and on the front of the table and had a sign up sheet but still was really lacking.  I need a logo and I need something to hand out to people.  I am just not creative so need to hook up with someone who is.  We had a fair amount of people come by and sign up and lots of questions.  I shared the booth with my friend Joc who just built her own barn for agility.  I teach outdoors in an un-fenced area so there is a huge need for an indoor facility for those doggies who like to run off.  If they run off in our area, they will be long gone into the great yonder.  Knock on wood, haven't had this happen yet but it is always a possibility.   We tried to be good about talking about each other's businesses so that we both got information out.  I may teach some out at her place and do some privates out there anyway.  She is closer to me than the all star field but I do love teaching at the all star field and will continue to do so.

I think the demo was a hit as we had a HUGE crowd.  This year we had a PA system so I got to actually talk to the public instead of us yelling at them or not talking at all.  We couldn't set up much so just had a couple of jumps, the tire jump, a tunnel and weaves.  I think the crowd got a big kick out of it even if it was small.  We even had a couple of questions at the end which was fun as well.  Even got to show them a few things we do with puppies like balance disc work since Joc had her baby there.  As always, looking forward to next year being bigger and better!

On another note, Stella had a very interesting week.  Let's see, she ate a pack of gum that had xylitol in it and got to go throw up at the vets and caused me a day off and then yesterday got on the counter and ate the sandwich I was fixing in a matter of 5 seconds, not exaggerating.  She really is preparing me for kids!!!!  She got to hang out with her daddy all day yesterday since I was so busy and couldn't deal with her all day.  She got to go to the dump and help daddy clear up the deck which I hope he will get fixed today.  I think she had fun hanging out with him and glad that he was willing to take her yesterday and have a daddy daughter day LOL.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

ending the day on a bad note

I hate ending the day on a bad note.  I wanted to go home after my standard run today.  It was the best run deuce and I have had in so long, other than a creepy a-frame.  Beautiful weaves, nice crosses and a pup that listened and ran the whole time full out might i add.  We had one stinky little bar coming out of the chute but i didn't even care.  We were a TEAM and I loved it!!!!  Even moved hugely lateral while he was performing the teeter to get a front cross in on the other side of the tire and he stuck his contact like a big boy.  I should have listened to my gut.  We also had a beautiful run in T2B.  I have to say, the course was very straight forward but did have a couple of tricky parts.  He missed his weaves but I think I was really in a bad position as I was trying to do a rear into the poles.  Got him back since there are no refusals in T2B and still got 7 points.  I was so proud of the way he ran, again he was running fast and furious and listening.  I LOVE that.

Back to JWW today.  I just didn't like the course at all.  I wasn't comfortable with it and felt like rears were the best option for most of it and I hate rears.  I know I need to get over it and learn to execute them properly.  You could do some fronts on the course but I felt like I would have to rush a couple of them and that rushing might send him over the off course options.  I was proud of the fact that he did get his weaves with a rear cross into them after we goofed that up in T2B.  The rest was just not good.  I won't go into gory details but he decimated the triple thanks to me yelling HERE for no good reason and he missed a couple of jumps.  He always stresses after he hits bars, which I guess is a good thing, he knows he is wrong.  I take full responsibility for the muck up though.  I wasn't comfortable with the course, my timing was off and my handling was atrocious.  I was very mad with myself as I know i can handle better than that.  Don't know why jumpers seems to be my waterloo.  It wasn't good for miller and I either so weird that I seem to have a stigma against jumpers courses.  I really need to figure out how I can train longer sequences and more often because I feel like I am super rusty on full courses.  I do feel like overall the day was pretty darn good despite only one Q to show for it.  He needs to mature, I need to stop being reactive and I need to train more.  Simple solutions but hate to end the day on that run:(

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunflower 2012 day 1

Back from the show, showered, treadmilled and pups worn out so I thought I would sit down and write.  Hubby is snoring away on the couch from working yet another overtime weekend so I am trying to stay busy and quiet.  Am trying not to pick up the second book in the hunger games series.  Was half way done with book one and had to finish it last night so stayed up past 12 reading and then had to get up at 5 and drive.  Don't you just love a good book though?

Had Excellent FAST first thing.  Had planned a nice twisty turner, collected course.  Everything worked really well until i needed him to go in the send.  I guess I had had him on me so  much that he wouldn't send.  Finally got him over the first jump and then the second and had to turn back to a tunnel and he just wouldn't leave me.  That is what I get for trying to get him to run collected the whole course I guess.  His contacts were great, waited for a release on every one and his weave entry was AWESOME!  I set him up to take them at an angle and set him pretty far back so he had speed and he found them and collected so nicely.  Had a nice 180 and a pull through to the a-frame next and he executed so well.  Oh well, great training run even if he didn't get the bonus.  That is the purpose of that class for me anyway.

Excellent JWW was next and a very nice course.  Had walked the opening with a lead out push but then the more I thought about it, the more I felt like a moving FC would be more applicable.  About the time I was to go walk the other plan, the judge blew the whistle so I didn't get to walk it.  I will have to say other than the weave poles, that was the best part of his run LOL!  We started out nicely and sent him in a straight tunnel with a dummy jump at the other end.  I was calling as he was in the tunnel but once again, he locked onto that dummy jump and was almost to it when I gave a big DEUCE and he put on the brakes and came to me.  Then of course, I couldn't get him to release off so he ran past a jump.  Sent him again to the jump and he ran past it again.  So weird.  Kept going with a nice rear on the triple to the weaves.  Perfect entry YIPEEE!  The rest of the course was not so pretty.  He took an off course jump again and then went way wide on a serp.  We just seemed like we couldn't reconnect after that one mistake.

Last for the day was standard.  I elected to be on the far side of the dog walk and push to the correct entrance of the tunnel and then rear after the jump tire, chute combo.  The dogs were suppose to come out of the chute and come essentially back to a table.  Many people did not estimate how much calling they needed to do after the chute and their dogs shot out and took the off course jump that was calling their name.  SO what did i do, as he was in the chute that i had just rear crossed thus telling him where to go, I called and clapped loudly.  I over called so he came out and stopped and looked at me like WHAT?  Of course got him to the table but thought for sure he probably got a refusal.  He had creepy dog walk and a nice teeter, both of which I made him hold till I said the magic word (thus causing us a ton of seconds).  I was hoping to have  repeat of the a-frame I had in fast as there was a nasty wrong course tunnel right at the bottom of the a-frame calling their name.  As he ascending the a-frame, he locked on to the tunnel and I had to say his name to get his attention as we were going back the other way.  He released himself on his name which i don't like, but it did get him to focus back on me versus taking that off course.  By that time, I was behind on the line and he took off headed straight for the weaves and a dummy jump.  I just told him weave and he turned and dove into them like a pro!!!!  Not bad since I was a MILE behind and really not up there to handle them.  He really didn't even look at the dummy jump at all.  We had a Q, it wasn't a pretty one but it was a Q and that is our second MX leg.  We only got 14 points thanks to the creepy dog walk and the held teeter but I will take it over him releasing and going without permission.

All in all, three for three on some tough weave entries.  VERY happy at this point even with the lack of Qs.  Would like to not handle so reactively.  I feel like a back seat drive some times and i hate that.  I know the yelling is getting on his nerves as it is on mine.  I feel like my timing is getting worse, some due to the fact that I can't run as fast as I normally do and I get out of breath so easily.  Will try and do a better job tomorrow at being proactive!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trial weekend YIPEEEE!

So i was going to get on the treadmill and do some walking/jogging and the flooring guys had parked once of their big pieces of equipment behind it and I can't move it so bummer:)  I am so ready for a trial and the weather is going to be good for once in the winter time, yipeeeeeee!!!!!!  It's an AKC trial but we are at least going to have three runs a day and there are two judges.  I have a feeling that there will be no crating space by the time I get there saturday morning but at least I can crate in the car.  It is suppose to be high 40s, low 50s so he should be okay and I may just bring the demon with me too so she can get some exposure.  I took her to class the other night and after I had set up, I lowered the bars down to 12 inches and let her do some little sequences.  Wheeee, she is fun to run and toy driven so I don't have to lug around cookies.  So nice to just have a toy in my pocket for her.  I accidently let her go up the teeter before we had played the bang game and I think it surprised her so after that she wanted to get off of it a without doing her 2 on 2 off so we had to do some work to remind her the teeter is fun and she can control her hind end.  I still feel like she needs more hind end awareness work before we do any running contact practice.  She seems to love doing the a-frame and the tunnel and even did a full height dog walk once.  I try to keep contacts at a minimum since we are going to do running.  Then I had her out while I taught and instead of her normal screaming at the dogs and handlers on course, we tugged and offered behaviors.  She was a little angel for both classes until i had to put her up to show to demo something with deuce.  Luckily she was in the van so no one could really hear her screaming full out.  She sounds like a seal being slaughtered when she gets going.  Overall i was very happy that she now can listen and give behaviors to me while other dogs are running versus her usually behavior of screaming like a banshee.  She even was a good little girl this morning by getting back in bed and letting me sleep till 7:30.  Now, if we can just keep this routine till the baby is born!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I can't breathe!

Had the European seminar this weekend in KC with Lori.  Went down saturday night since the seminar was early sunday morning and I still feel icky in the morning.  Not puking anymore but still get super dizzy and have these weird pressure headaches.  Didn't really want to drive feeling like that, although I guess this weekend for the show I will be anyway.  Had a great time shopping and eating in KC.  Sometimes I do miss the convenience of a big city but i sure don't miss the traffic!  So much good shopping(well if you consider old navy and target good shopping)so close by.  I could get very fat and very poor living there.  Anyway, still felt a little icky that next morning but got up enough in time to sit around and have some breakfast and caffeine.  Now as you know, European courses require alot of running and alot of independent skills.  The first sequence had a very hard weave entry coming out of a pretty much straight tunnel with an off course jump right there calling their name.  I thought for sure we would nail it with all of the weave work we have been doing but me being up there caused him to extend and take the jump and me being back caused him to curl in and take the wrong entry.  I can definitely tell on course work, we are super rusty.  He is going through another phase of I just want to run and not listen or collect so battling that on a super tight, twisty, trappy European course was a bit hard.  I was super out of breath many times on the course and just couldn't get commands out.  At one time as Lori was instructing me, I just had to sit down on the floor and try and catch my breath.  This is a new feeling to me so it took me aback a little.  I have always been able to run or send and get to where I need to be and now the bun is sucking my oxygen right out!  I have entered through the end of april so hope I can still run then!  Have started running again on the treadmill but not full out running.  My belly is getting heavy so the bouncing is a little uncomfortable but wearing my belly band to help support it.  Now if I could just figure out how to stop craving ice cream, that would help!

Overall the courses were tough but fun.  We had a great group of big dogs and handlers ranging in experience from really green to really experienced as well as handlers who have been to the big shows and won and to us regular people who just like to play on hard courses.  I was overall happy with how deuce handled but he still wants to shop and run balls to the wall and not listen when I am running hard and on those European courses, you can't take anything for granted so running is a must.  I was not surprised but a little disappointed that Deuce was blowing hold his contacts.  Great training opportunity as he got nailed several times when he self released, especially when i was trying to get a blind in and he passed me.  Hoping that will carry over this weekend for the sunflower show.  Would like to start getting those elusive double Qs we need for Tulsa before this bun gets here.

Came home after a nice lunch with one of my agility friends I hadn't seen in a while and then took stella to tricks and clicks class.  Yes, tony was suppose to take her but once again, he didn't feel like it.  I point blank asked if he was going to do any of her training and he said yes but with no conviction.  Heck, I kind of want to do her 2 x 2 training anyway but he can do her running contact work for sure.  I will help but I want him to do all of the running, I can just video and click:)  She is smart as I whip and fun to work with.  may take her tonight for agility class just to get her out of the house.  She needs exposure that she isn't getting since I don't usually take her with me at the shows.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

can't seem to get motivated today

This is so unlike me.  I can't describe how weird it is to look outside and not feel that desire to be out there.  It is yet another gorgeous mild winter day in KS and I am still in my pjs.  I know I should just indulge but this so goes against my nature.  I feel like I need to be outside doing something with the dogs yet all I want to do is read a book and lounge on the couch.  My hubby is really good at this whole relaxing thing and i need to be more like him I guess.  He works a hard labor job all week and sometimes on the weekend (like this weekend) and he knows to let his body rest and take it easy.  I just can't do that, am always on the go.  I guess that is why I feel so guilty today.  Kind of felt this way yesterday, hubby was working and I just wanted to lounge and take it easy.  Still managed to get taxes done for the accountant, do several sessions of foundation work with both stella and deuce and several loads of laundry as well as clean both upstairs and down stairs.  Maybe I should just embrace this since when the baby comes this won't be a luxury anymore.

Am excited though at starting another round of classes tomorrow.  Going to call this group the winter crazies!  Only my advanced students would be crazy enough to stick with this the entire winter, but that is how I have always been and heck it has been such a mild winter anyway why not.

Next weekend we have a seminar with Lori on all the new blind crosses and the latest handling fun and then the weekend after that we have two days of AKC.  Looking forward to having some dog agility so maybe I should just enjoy sitting on my butt for a day.  Still feeling guilty.............

Monday, January 2, 2012

New years USDAA

Was suppose to work today but woke up very tired and very icky feeling and since this is technically a holiday, I took it.  Hubby is down in his back so he didn't get any work or moving done this weekend while I was gone.  Heck he didn't even get back into our house till saturday.  Let me say that the floors as AMAZING and well worth the pain and I am very, very glad to be back in our house for good.  Hubby is working on the kitchen subfloor all day today and I am moving the little stuff back that I can and dusting. Taking a break right now resting so I can teach for two hours tonight.  Trying to finish up this session so I can have the winter with my advanced students.  Oh yeah, guess I was going to talk about this weekend so better do that now!

We had our first team experience since the first debacle with the 22 inch spaced weave poles.  We had a good team, a BC that is the same age as deuce and a four year old aussie.  We were A Flurry of Double Ds (dixie, deuce and flurry LOL).  We had the speed demon, the steady, and the wild card deuce.  Gamblers was a bit of a warm up and my brain wasn't in it for some reason.  We weren't allowed to do contact to contact and on my way from the dog walk to the aframe I meant to take a jump but didn't so got a big fat zero for my a-frame.  Didn't get the gamble either as he turned the wrong way going in and took an off course jump.  So got a big fat 20 points, ick.  Luckily one of our teammates got the gamble and the other got more points.  Deuce and I still fight in gamblers and it has become our waterloo (along with steeplechase but more on that later).  He wants to run 100 MPH because I am running and sometimes that means his brain goes out the window and he ceases listening.  Even when I try running slower and collected, he still sees all that space and goes YAHOOO!  I get the same thing in FAST.  Just need to practice more i guess.  Anyway, jumpers was next and it was a bugaboo of a course.  Very tight, very weird and very trappy with a tough weave pole entry.  Got the weave pole entry with me a mile behind and I think I was so in awe that he got it that I stopped handling and was admiring and he took an off course jump.  I had pulled him and turned him on the flat but he just angled himself right out to the broad jump. Silly puppy.  My BC teammate got an E too so we had two Es and one good run by our steady eddie.  Standard was next and it was a very straight forward course.  For whatever reason, as we were coming off the a-frame, Deuce locked in on the teeter and even though I was saying go tunnel, took off across the arena and took the teeter and into a beautiful two on two off.  Silly boy, letting your team down with yet another E.  Again luckily the rest of the team had great runs.  Now I am feeling pretty low, perfect weaves on all courses but I am the rock that is holding our team down.  I don't want to be the dog that no one wants in team because I can't seem to keep him off of wrong courses.  Snooker was next which is my favorite game and booyah, he got the second highest points which helped because our BC got a big fat 0 and our steady eddy only made it through the 5 in the closing.  Last was relay and we had a clean run and a third place which boosted us over the line and into the Q zone.  Out of 850 points minimum we had to have, we got 865 LOL!  We are renaming our team to Those who Squeak by:)

Saturday was 5 runs and i was a little nervous.  Deuce was doing alot of weird things and I wasn't sure why.  Maybe I was nervous the day before because it was team, but he usually handles my nerves fine.  Jumpers was our first thing and we needed this Q to move up to Elite.  He ran a gorgeous run, smooth and fast but with one bar.  I will take it though, it was my old deuce running.  He was again a little loosey goosey in gamblers and because he took another jump as the gamble buzzer was sounding and i had to reset him, the ending buzzer sounded as I was holding his teeter contact on the way out.  BOOO.  I needed that Q.  Standard was a Q but again he was wanting to grab obstacles and not just listen to me.  Grand prix was GORGEOUS, but i was fading way in the weaves and for whatever reason he popped the last pole and came to me.  Never done that before so something i will just have to get my treat and train out and work on.  Steeplechase was the last thing of the day and again it had us weaving into no where so I felt like I needed to support him and go to the end of the poles.  As we were coming back to the double I could see him looking at EVERYTHING so I knew this run was going to be a wild one.  He again was wanting to take anything and I was having trouble just keeping him with me.  He took an off course jump about 8 obstacles in so we just left the ring.  I felt like he was probably going to be so wild that finishing the course would be impossible.   He was tired, I was tired (had been there 10 hours by that time) so we just decided to call it quits.  All in all, it was  a great weave pole day and I am so proud of his improvement.  I feel like I can get just about any weave pole entry now and be confident with them.

Sunday was a little better, only had three runs but needed every one of them to be Qs.  Jumpers was first and Deuce again ran a fast and clean run but this time with NO bars.  Got first, beat a WT handler and had a instant buzz:)  Gamblers was next and he seemed alot more controlled but when the buzzer sounded, he saw the weave poles as they were at the start of the gamble but not in the gamble and he locked on.  Had to call him back as it was jump, turn to the dog walk, jump.  He took the jump, turned away from me (about 20 feet away) wrapped that first pole and started weaving towards me.  The judge was laughing so hard that he could barley blow his whistle.  I was so proud and so pissed all in one!  So glad that he is searching out hard entries but dang it, I needed that Q to move up!  Oh well, at least most shows do mid show move ups and I have two more USDAA shows before the baby.  Just would like to be in masters by the fall shows.  Standard was last and again, he wanted the weaves every time i got anywhere near them.  He didn't get any refusals but those wide loops of mom, i really want those poles cost us on time and we ended up with a third.

All in all, VERY happy with his poles after this weekend.  2 x 2s definately made and impression on him.  Contacts were good except for the fact that he is now self releasing some times and I am having to really nail him to get him to stop.  Oh well, more training issues keep you on your toes right?  Happy NEW year to everyone!